10 Common Chainsaw Sharpening Myths and Mistakes [How to Avoid Them]

Are you not satisfied with chainsaw cuts? If you’re not getting the clean and precise cuts you want from your chainsaw, there’s a good chance that something went wrong when you sharpened the blade. 

A chainsaw that is not sharpened correctly can be dangerous. Improper sharpening techniques can also cause the saw to wear down more quickly. Most common chainsaw sharpening mistake people made that they do not follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

In this article, we have discussed 10 common chainsaw sharpening myths and mistakes and their solution to avoid. These tips can help you avoid making these mistakes when sharpening your chainsaw.

The Most Common Chainsaw Sharpening Myths and Mistakes

Here are common chainsaw sharpening mistakes people make when sharpening their chainsaws – and how to avoid them.

  1. Not Following the Manufacturer’s Instructions
  2. Not Filing the Cutters at the Proper Angle
  3. Not using a chainsaw file guide
  4. Not maintaining the chainsaw file
  5. Not removing all the burrs
  6. Not Filing the depth Gauge Enough
  7. Not Sharpening the Teeth Enough
  8. Not Filing the Raker Too Much
  9. Not sharpening often enough
  10. Not using the right file size

1- Not Following the Manufacturer’s Instructions

The first chainsaw sharpening mistake is while sharpening your chainsaw, it’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

Solution: Different chainsaws have different specifications, and if you don’t follow the specific instructions for your saw, you could end up damaging the blade.

2- Not Filing the Cutters at the Proper Angle

If you sharpen your chainsaw blade at too high of an angle, you’ll end up with a duller blade. Each cutter tooth needs to be filed at a specific angle for the chainsaw to work properly. If the cutter teeth are not filed at the proper angle, they will be unable to cut through wood properly.

To avoid this problem, make sure that you file the cutter teeth at the proper angle.

Solution: The ideal angle for chainsaw sharpening is between 20 and 30 degrees. The angle you file it is important for two reasons. First, it determines how sharp the teeth on your chainsaw will be. Second, it affects the depth of the cut. If you file at too shallow of an angle, the teeth won’t be sharp enough, and the chainsaw will bog down. If you file at too steep of an angle, the chainsaw will likely kick back.

It’s important to file all the way to the tip of the chainsaw tooth. If you don’t, the chainsaw won’t cut as well.

The filing angle is different for every chainsaw. be sure to consult your chainsaw’s manual to find the correct angle, and then stick to it.

3- Not Using a Chainsaw File Guide

One of the common chainsaw sharpening mistake people do is not using a Chainsaw file guide. A chainsaw file guide helps to ensure that you’re sharpening the blade at the correct angle. Without a guide, it’s easy to make mistakes that will result in a duller blade.

Solution: For better understanding you can follow the chart given below.

4- Not Maintaining the Chainsaw File

Chainsaw files wear down with use, so maintaining them is important. When a chainsaw file gets too worn, it can damage the blade. Using a dull file will make it more difficult to achieve a sharp edge on your chainsaw blade.

Solution: Be sure to replace chainsaw files when they get too worn to avoid damaging your blade.

5- Not Removing All the Burrs

If you don’t remove all the burrs from the chainsaw blade after sharpening it, those burrs will quickly cause the blade to become dull again.

Solution: Use a chainsaw file guide to help remove all the burrs from the blade before putting the saw away.

6- Not Filing the Depth Gauge Enough

The depth gauge is the metal rod that runs along the side of the chainsaw blade, just above the cutter teeth. This gauge needs to be exactly level with the tips of the cutter teeth in order for the saw to work properly.

Solution: If the depth gauge is too high, it will prevent the cutter teeth from doing their job. The chainsaw will produce a lot of sawdust, but the wood won’t be cut.

If the depth gauge is too low, it will cause the chainsaw to “ride up” on the wood. This can cause kickback, which is extremely dangerous.

To avoid these problems, ensure you file the depth gauge down until it is level with the cutter teeth.

7- Not Sharpening the Teeth Enough

If you don’t sharpen the cutter teeth enough, they will not be able to cut through wood properly. The chainsaw will produce a lot of sawdust, but the wood won’t be cut.

Solution: To avoid this problem, make sure that you sharpen the teeth until they are nice and sharp.

If you file too aggressively, you can remove too much metal from your chainsaw. This will make the chain weaker and more likely to break.

8- Not Filing the Raker Too Much

The raker is the metal piece that runs along the side of the chainsaw blade, just below the depth gauge. This raker needs to be slightly higher than the depth gauge in order for the saw to work properly.

Solution: If the raker is too high, it will cause the chainsaw to “ride up” on the wood. This can cause kickback, which is extremely dangerous.

If the raker is too low, it will prevent the cutter teeth from doing their job. The chainsaw will produce a lot of sawdust, but the wood won’t be cut.

To avoid these problems, make sure that you file the raker down until it is slightly higher than the depth gauge.

9- Not using the right file size

Another common chainsaw sharpening mistake is not using the right file size. The size of the file you use should be matched to the pitch of your chainsaw chain.

If you use a file that’s too small, it will take forever to sharpen your saw, and the results won’t be good. If you use a too large file, you can damage the teeth on your chainsaw chain.

Solution: Be sure to use a file that’s the same size as the chain’s cutting teeth.

10- Not Sharpening Often Enough

Dull chainsaws are more dangerous than sharp ones because they’re more likely to kick back.

Solution: Be sure to sharpen your chainsaw regularly to keep it in good condition.

You can keep your chainsaw blade sharpener for longer by avoiding these common chainsaw sharpening mistakes. Make sure you always get the best possible performance from your saw. These healthy guides can keep your chainsaw in good condition and ready to use.

Bonus Tip

To make your work easier you can use timberline sharpener this will lets you switch filing path so you’ll sharpen all the cutters quickly.

Conclusion

Chainsaw sharpening is a critical part of chainsaw maintenance, yet it’s something that many people don’t know how to do properly. We hope that now you are aware about what are the 10 Common Chainsaw Sharpening Myths and Mistakes. By following these simple chainsaw sharpening tricks, you’ll be able to avoid these mistakes and keep your saws in top condition without any trouble.  

Be sure to always use caution when sharpening and handling a chainsaw. Safety should always be your number one priority. And remember, if you are ever unsure about anything related to sharpening or using a chainsaw, consult an expert before proceeding. If you also want to know about chainsaw sharpening techniques review our guide for pro sharpening techniques.

Have you tried any of these techniques? Let us know how they worked for you in the comments below. If you have any questions or need help sharpening your chainsaw, don’t hesitate to contact us. We are happy to help! Get out there and start cutting!

FAQ’s

Always hold the file at a right angle (90°) to the guide bar. The file only sharpens on the forward stroke – lift the file off the cutter on the backstroke. Rotate the file a little at regular intervals while filing to avoid one-sided wear.

There are several reasons why a chainsaw blade may dull quickly. Some common ways are from overuse, steep angled cutting teeth, cutting through dirty wood, or working with difficult wood like hickory, ironwood, and black oak.

Simply clamp the saw in a vise, using wood blocks as a backboard to hold the spine of the saw rigid. Then file the teeth until they are of uniform height. Use a double-cut, smooth metal file for the job, clamping it to a piece of scrap in order to keep it square to the saw blade.

Simply clamp the saw in a vise, using wood blocks as a backboard to hold the spine of the saw rigid. Then file the teeth until they are of uniform height. Use a double-cut, smooth metal file for the job, clamping it to a piece of scrap in order to keep it square to the saw blade.

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